Arterra Bioscience S.p.A.'s (BIT:ABS) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 23, 2021
BIT:ABS
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at Arterra Bioscience's (BIT:ABS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 18% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Arterra Bioscience's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for Arterra Bioscience

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Arterra Bioscience is:

13% = €1.2m ÷ €8.6m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.13.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

Arterra Bioscience's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To start with, Arterra Bioscience's ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 13%. However, we are curious as to how Arterra Bioscience's decent returns still resulted in flat growth for Arterra Bioscience in the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

As a next step, we compared Arterra Bioscience's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 20% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
BIT:ABS Past Earnings Growth November 24th 2021

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Arterra Bioscience is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Arterra Bioscience Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Arterra Bioscience doesn't pay any dividend, which means that it is retaining all of its earnings. This makes us question why the company is retaining so much of its profits and still generating almost no growth? It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Summary

In total, it does look like Arterra Bioscience has some positive aspects to its business. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. To gain further insights into Arterra Bioscience's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.